Long before Irish director Neil Jordan made popular movies (Interview with the Vampire), or important movies (Michael Collins), or movies that were both (The Crying Game), he made some little movies that not many people saw. In recent years, he’s again returned to making little movies that not many people see, and yet there’s a difference between what he’s doing now, and what he was doing way back then; there often is with directors of his caliber. You can feel the hunger and the desire to impress or to say something worthwhile in the earlier works, and you don’t always get that vibe in the newer stuff. Mona Lisa is such a film.
It may not have the budget of In Dreams or the uniqueness of The Butcher Boy, and yet it’s got an immense amount of heart and a self-assuredness that makes it well worth carving out some time for. Apparently, someone in Hollywood felt much the same, as there’s a remake in the works, currently slated to star Mickey Rourke and Eva Greene, and it will be directed by Larry Clark (Kids, Another Day in Paradise).
It’d be all too easy to launch into a rant about how pointless it seems to remake this film, but I wouldn’t be saying anything that hasn’t been said a hundred times before about a hundred different remakes. Instead, I’d much rather write about Jordan’s film, which was something of a video staple for me back in the 90s, and yet it’s been over a decade since I last partook in its world. Viewing it again was a lot like spending time with an old, dear friend that you haven’t seen in ages.
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